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    NFDS confirms AHTS deal with Bergen Group

    Vessel & ROV News // March 22, 2013

    Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab (NFDS) has confirmed that it has place a contract with Bergen Group Fosen for completion of its first AHTS.

    In 2005, BOA Offshore achieved 100 per cent ownership of NFDS with the goal of making it a successful local shipping company again. BOA currently has four offshore related hulls under construction at a shipyard in China. The first of these newbuilds is a VS 491 AHTS anchor handling vessel. The vessel has been sold to Nordenfjeldske Offshore 1 AS, a new company which is a fully-controlled subsidiary of the Nordenfjeldske Dampskibsselskab AS.

    NFDS has signed a contract with Bergen Group Fosen for the outfitting of the hull. The hull is currently under tow from China and is expected to arrive at the Fosen yard during the second quarter of 2013. The vessel will then be completed at the Fosen yard and delivered during the first quarter of 2014.

    The VS 491 AHTS will be equipped for operations in the North Sea, including 28,000hp, DP2, a 600 tonne winch, ROV hangar and deck handling system.

    BOA and NFDS said they forecast "solid market potential" for such large AHTS vessels in the years to come.

    Sparebank 1 SMN and Guarantee Institute for Export Credits (GIEK) have assisted the company with the necessary financing and guarantees.

    The reorganization plan aims to build NFDS as an independent local shipping company. Thus far, a total of 20 Trondheim investors have provided capital to both NFDS and Nordenfjeldske Offshore 1 AS. A major shipping company in southern Norway has also become part owner. During the startup phase, the ownership is split - 76 per cent BOA and 24 per cent external investors.

    BOA has a second VS 491 AHTS hull under construction in China which will also be added to NFDS’ planned fleet of vessels. In addition, BOA has two large PSVs (VS 495) under construction that will be completed and funded in China. These two vessels may also become part of the NFDS fleet.

    Ole Bjørnevik, owner of BOA Offshore, said he is of the opinion that there is a need for two independent offshore companies in Trondheim. NFDS will focus on the market segment for anchor handling and supply vessels as a conventional service vessel company; BOA Offshore will be streamlined with its niche segments of barges, tug boats and construction vessels.


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